June 18, 2024

Joe Biden’s got an interesting “surrogate” attending Wednesday’s RNC presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library – California Gov. Gavin Newsom. That Dems feel the need to send someone to defend Biden to a Republican primary debate, and one in which Donald Trump, the man who overwhelmingly leads in the race right now won’t even be attending, says a lot. 

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And even though California’s economy is worse on every metric than the Biden economy as a whole, advisers say Newsom’s going to call Republican economic policies “extreme” and still label them “MAGAnomics” even in the absence of Donald Trump.

“You can expect the Biden campaign and our allies to point out the stark contrast between Bidenomics and the extreme MAGAnomics policies we’ll hear on the debate stage.

“The timing of next week’s debate, as MAGA Republicans are willing to shut down the government unless Donald Trump gets his way, shines a brighter spotlight on economic impacts of the extreme MAGAnomics agenda. On the debate stage, Republicans will have to answer whether they’re on the side of the MAGA shutdown or with the American people.”

So, it sure seems that Newsom plans to spin the economic pain Californians are feeling as somehow the fault of Donald Trump and “MAGAnomics.” He can’t be blamed for assuming it will work; after all, he’s never been successfully challenged by either the California press corps or national hosts like Sean Hannity on the topic.

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To prepare for his appearance, the DNC held a call Monday morning with reporters in which both Newsom and Nancy Pelosi spoke. Newsom’s comments were alternately spot-on and moronic:

“I think when you look at the next debate, you look at the contrast between the two parties at the moment — it’s as different as daylight and darkness…

 “Why is it the last three Republican presidents share one thing in common, and that’s recessions? Is it because of their policies and their approach?”

Then with a complete lack of self-awareness, Newsom said:

I don’t know how they get away with their rhetoric.

Governor, a lot of Californians feel the same way about your rhetoric, though we know how you get away with it.

If you have the courage to face some tough questions, whether from me or from some of my esteemed colleagues, here are a few you should be prepared for.

First, if Republican economic policies are the problem, and your policies are so great, why is it that the unemployment rate in California has consistently been higher than the national average since you went to Sacramento in 2010? During that time there was only a Republican president for four years, and the last year of that was during a pandemic. The state’s economic performance cannot be blamed on Republican fiscal policies.

Now, it’s true that California has the fifth-largest economy in the world and has a staggering and diverse agricultural output, but that doesn’t mean that everyone benefits. Given all of that productivity and revenue, why is inflation in California still higher than the record-setting inflation seen nationwide? Since we’ve lost population, it can’t be explained fully by supply and demand the way it can in some parts of Florida, for example. Why is the state’s unemployment rate nearly a full percentage point higher than the country’s (4.6% in CA versus 3.8% nationally)? Why does the state have the lowest wage growth in the country?

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Beyond that, let’s ask Gavin Newsom what happened to the $36 billion he and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su allowed to be stolen from the state’s Economic Development Department during the pandemic. Would Newsom like to comment on why, according to a new report, the California EDD allegedly owes the federal government $18 billion on top of the $18.5 billion the state already owes the feds due to the fraud losses?

The Controller’s Office said the $17.9 billion line item refers to “amounts due to the Federal Government, primarily associated with federal grant expenditures for which the State was not able to verify eligibility of claimants under federal program guidelines.”

Those two items essentially add up to the amount of fraud currently admitted to by the Newsom administration, but given this newest revelation, it’s entirely possible there’s more.

And since Newsom likes to talk about autocrats and dictators, I think the rest of the country needs to hear his answers to questions about silly guidelines he put in place during the “State of Emergency” in California, which only recently ended. For example, using equity measures to determine when a county could re-open.

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Or closing state beaches in only one county, a county whose leaders were defying his dictates, and warning beachgoers that “more aggressive measures” would be taken if people continued to go to the beach on the weekends. 

Recently Newsom has claimed to be some type of crusader for the rights of children and for protecting their fragile mental health. But during his lockdowns, vulnerable children were kept out of schools and isolated from their peers, leading to massive mental health struggles. Just in my city, I know of three students who committed suicide during the lockdowns. This boy, in northern California, was only 11 when he shot himself while attending a Zoom class. The learning loss, which has disproportionately affected minority students and those in poverty, is well-documented. Yet, instead of confronting this head-on, Newsom’s administration is spending its time harassing local school boards that want to remove inappropriate books from curriculum and school libraries, and that pass parental notification policies. He should be called upon to explain those priorities.

These questions are just a start and only cover a few topics. On Wednesday morning we’ll publish part 2, covering questions about government corruption and waste, Gavin’s too-close ties to some donors, and hypocrisy.

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